Imagine being a model around the world for Calvin Klein and Levi among others – where your looks are literally your income stream – only for not one, but two autoimmune diseases wreak havoc on your body.
In a rare interview with someone under 40 on 100 Not Out (two in two weeks after episode 208 with Kale Brock!), we chat with Blair Norfolk.
Blair suffered from Vitiligo and Ulcerative Colitis. The former is the condition Michael Jackson suffered from which drew widespread rumour and innuendo throughout his life. The latter was the beginning of Blair’s major challenge.
At the age of 21, Australian-born Blair uplifted his life in Melbourne to move to the UK as a full-time working model. As is the stereotype of high fashion models, Blair quickly became entrenched in the lifestyle characteristic of the fashion industry with parties, substance abuse and a do-anything-you-can for your appearance attitude.
Fast forward to 23, and Blair becomes very ill, bedridden with blood in his stool and a chronic lack of energy, debilitating stomach pains and is hospitalised for a week. After many invasive tests it was discovered he had Ulcerative Colitis, a debilitating autoimmune disease. Like many young men, however, Blair continued on his party ways with the typical ‘invincible’ attitude ignoring doctors advice and warnings. It wasn’t until another five years later that Blair’s vanity stopped him in his tracks, when a pink patch appeared next to his right eye.
We pick up the story here on this enlightening episode of 100 Not Out.
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